First realization: Next time I do this I think I will hand out a grid (similar to the one I used when listening to/ reading their work) to remind them to include all the necessary bits. I can see how easy it was for some to get wrapped up in the storytelling (which is great) but to lose track of why they were there (which sometimes wasn’t so good).
Most of the students did a great job. Some clearly ran out of time (or steam). Some didn’t read the directions. One student wrote an art history paper in Spanish (it was beautifully done but not what the assignment was about).
Each student wrote a story and handed in the text. They also used that text to narrate a VoiceThread production. What I wondered about was whether there would be a difference between just the written word and the narrated story with visuals. I thought there would not be much of a difference. I was wrong. (and happily so)
Here are two examples of the students’ work where the visual images and the narration they created greatly improved the story they were telling. Both went beyond what was asked of them and used additional images to add complexity and variety to the tale. I plan to use these two stories as examples for upcoming classes. While they did not receive similar grades, I thought their work was exemplary.
[N.B. Both students have given me their permission to post their work here]
I totalled the number of necessary components (10). I included a point if the narration seemed fluid (vs being read from a script) and I included a point for what I call “chispa” or a spark. I divided the total number of points accumulated by the points possible (15).
This score was worth 70% of their final exam grade (the other 30% had been determined by their classmates in their group oral presentations). The final exam as a whole was 20% of their final (semester) grade.
No one element in the final was worth more than 15% of their final grade. Personally, I always hated it when final exams were the deciding factor in your final grade for a course. Some people just don’t test well, especially at the end of a long semester. For many of my students this was their first semester of college finals and I know they were nervous. I tried to be sensitive to all of those things when thinking about the weight of this exam and its impact upon their grade.